Interesting Reading #542 - How to Become a Millionaire, How to forecast the weather, How to map the brain and much more...

by | Aug 1, 2010 08:54 PM ET

Ballmer (and Microsoft) still doesn't get the iPad - "The message was clear: Microsoft still doesn't understand why its Tablet PC concept has repeatedly bombed over the best part of a decade. Apple sold more iPads in its first three months of availability than PC vendors sold Tablet PCs in the whole of last year; in fact, the number of iPads sold in that period is likely to eclipse the number of Tablet PCs sold both last year and this. But still the company is persevering: stick a regular PC operating system on a laptop, give it a touchscreen, and then take away the keyboard and pixel-perfect pointing device. Ballmer even reiterated the company's position: slates are just another PC form factor." See also: Ballmer: Microsoft feels tablet 'urgency'

RIM Planning iPad-Rival Dubbed “BlackPad” In November - "Bloomberg is reporting that Research In Motion (RIM – the makers of the BlackBerry) are planning to introduce a tablet computer into the marketplace this November in an attempt to capture some of the iPad's runaway momentum just before the holiday shopping season. There are apparently two people who claim to be “familiar with the company's plans” telling Bloomberg that the device would be similar to the iPad, at least in terms of its shape and size. We have heard rumors of a BlackBerry tablet before but now it seems to becoming more and more of a reality..."

Brain On a Chip - "Are we humans – with our carbon-based neural net “wetware” brains – at a point in history when we might be able to imprint the circuitry of the human brain using transistors on a silicon chip?"

Teen Electrifies 1972 Volkswagen Beetle - "Stark has spent more than a year (and just $4,000) converting his Beetle into a completely operational electric vehicle. As a sophomore in high school, he's unfortunately still too young to legally enjoy the fruits of his labor. However, in just a few weeks, he'll finally be able to get his learners permit..."

Study: Receipts Could Be Harmful to Your Health - "ash-register receipts from many fast-food outlets, groceries, pharmacies, big-box stores and U.S. post offices contain high levels of the endocrine-disrupting chemical bisphenol A. A study released late today by the Environmental Working Group reported that a laboratory analysis it commissioned found the plastic component BPA on 40 percent of receipts from McDonald's, CVS, KFC, Whole Foods, Wal-Mart, Safeway and other businesses..."

Hacker intercepts phone calls with homebuilt $1,500 IMSI catcher, claims GSM is beyond repair - "In 2009, Chris Paget showed the world the vulnerabilities of RFID by downloading the contents of US passports from the safety of his automobile. This year, he's doing the same for mobile phones. Demonstrating at DefCon 2010, the white hat hacker fooled 17 nearby GSM phones into believing his $1,500 kit (including a laptop and two RF antennas) was a legitimate cell phone base station, and proceeded to intercept and record audience calls. "As far as your cell phones are concerned, I'm now indistinguishable from AT&T," he told the crowd. The purpose of the demonstration was highlight a major flaw in the 2G GSM system, which directs phones to connect to the tower with the strongest signal regardless of origin -- in this case, Paget's phony tower..."

The Web's New Gold Mine: Your Secrets - "A Journal investigation finds that one of the fastest-growing businesses on the Internet is the business of spying on consumers. First in a series..." See also: Sites Feed Personal Details To New Tracking Industry

The Future of Social Networking is the Surveillance State - "Last time I wrote about the social panopticon, I was being tongue in cheek. But today I don my tinfoil hat for real to bring you the Danger Room story of Recorded Future, a company being funded by a CIA research branch and Google to mine publicly available data (including social networking data) for event prediction. If you haven't read it, go do that now. I'll be here when you get back..."

Students finally wake up to Facebook privacy issues - "Students care about Facebook privacy more than the world thinks, and their use of privacy controls has skyrocketed recently, according to two researchers. Eszter Hargittai, Associate Professor of Northwestern University, and Danah Boyd, Research Associate at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society published their findings in the online peer-reviewed journal First Monday, noting that young people are very engaged with the privacy settings on Facebook, contrary to the popular belief that their age group is reckless with what they post publicly...."

Insane bike test epic fail!

College Grads, Here's How to Become Millionaires - "Do you want to become rich beyond your wildest dreams? The question may seem right out of a late-night infomercial — unless you follow one strategy that may actually help you achieve it: Act poor..."

Study: Solar power is cheaper than nuclear - "The Holy Grail of the solar industry — reaching grid parity — may no longer be a distant dream. Solar may have already reached that point, at least when compared to nuclear power, according to a new study by two researchers at Duke University..."

How to forecast the weather without gadgets

The Energy Impact of Light Bulbs

Intel demos chips that can transfer an HD movie in 1 second - "Intel announced today that it has created a breakthrough data-transfer technology in its labs, using a combination of silicon chips and lasers to transfer data over a fiber optic cable at a speed of 50 gigabits per second..."

Moon greenhouse - "Odyssey Moon, a contender for the Google Lunar X Prize, developed a prototype greenhouse meant to grow a flower on the Moon. Credit: Paragon Space Development Corporation..."

Physicists Dream Up the Antilaser - "Fifty years after physicists invented the laser, ushering in everything from supermarket scanners to music CDs, scientists have conceived its opposite — the “antilaser.”"

What Stormtroopers Do On Their Day Off

A 'shoot-out' between methods won't help us teach more children to read - "It's the near misses that make you want to shoot your own face off. This week the Centre for Policy Studies has published a pamphlet on education that has been covered by the Mirror, the Mail, the BBC, the Telegraph, the Express, the Guardian, and more. Boris Johnson endorses it..."

Telenoid R1: Hiroshi Ishiguro's Newest and Strangest Android - "Japanese roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro has just unveiled a new teleoperated android: a strange robotic creature called the Telenoid R1. Ishiguro, a professor at Osaka University, is famous for creating humanlike androids designed to "transmit the presence" of people to a distant place...."

Scientists Map Entire Brain Network: “The most complex mass of protoplasm on earth—perhaps even in our galaxy." - "“We have successfully uncovered and mapped the most comprehensive long-distance network of the Macaque monkey brain, which is essential for understanding the brain's behavior, complexity, dynamics and computation,” announced Dharmendra S. Modha of IBM. “We can now gain unprecedented insight into how information travels and is processed across the brain. We have collated a comprehensive, consistent, concise, coherent, and colossal network spanning the entire brain and grounded in anatomical tracing studies that is a stepping stone to both fundamental and applied research in neuroscience and cognitive computing,” he added..."

Activity along New Madrid fault linked to melting ice sheet - "A new theory developed at Purdue University may solve the mystery of why the New Madrid fault, which lies in the middle of the continent and not along a tectonic plate boundary, produces large earthquakes such as the ones that shook the eastern United States in 1811 and 1812..."

Innovative India water plant opens in Madras - "A desalination plant which begins operating in Madras on Saturday will provide some of the cheapest drinking water in India, backers say..."

The First-Timer's Guide to Building a Computer from Scratch - " If you've never done it before, the idea of building a computer from the ground up can seem very intimidating—but it's one of the most satisfying projects a tech enthusiast can take on..."

Amazing Hidden Animations!

Prey - " Prey is a lightweight application that will help you track and find your laptop if it ever gets stolen. It works in all operating systems and not only is it Open Source but also completely free. ..."

Birthday corpse discovery sparks fraud investigation - "A home visit by Tokyo officials to a local resident to congratulate him on his 111th birthday instead led to a police search that uncovered his three-decade-old skeleton..."

Four Deformations of the Apocalypse - "IF there were such a thing as Chapter 11 for politicians, the Republican push to extend the unaffordable Bush tax cuts would amount to a bankruptcy filing. The nation's public debt — if honestly reckoned to include municipal bonds and the $7 trillion of new deficits baked into the cake through 2015 — will soon reach $18 trillion. That's a Greece-scale 120 percent of gross domestic product, and fairly screams out for austerity and sacrifice. It is therefore unseemly for the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, to insist that the nation's wealthiest taxpayers be spared even a three-percentage-point rate increase..." See also: Blind Faith in Republicans

America's Worst Job Market: What 27.6% Unemployment Looks Like - "El Centro, Calif., is the largest U.S. city to be situated entirely below sea level. At the moment, it's also home to the country's most underwater job market. Nationally, the unemployment rate sits at 9.5 percent. But in the El Centro metropolitan area, it's a staggering 27.6 percent. And as workers across the country struggle to navigate the anemic labor market, El Centro has emerged as a case study about just how fragile the economic recovery can be..." See also: The crisis of middle-class America

Will Washington's Failures Lead To Second American Revolution? - "The Internet is a large-scale version of the "Committees of Correspondence" that led to the first American Revolution — and with Washington's failings now so obvious and awful, it may lead to another..."

Was Marden Henge the builder's yard for Stonehenge? - "Stone tools, flakes and the remains of a final feast at the site in Wiltshire hint that the huge sarsens that now stand at Stonehenge were brought to Marden Henge first..."

What's that weird thing around Saturn's second-largest moon? - "In 2008, researchers detected a sharp, symmetrical drop in electrons around Rhea, Saturn's second-largest moon. This could be caused by a ring of debris, but the Cassini spacecraft, which has flown by the moon several times, has not seen a ring...."

[[[Jump to - Interesting reading #541 – Wearable Computers, Dream control, Germ Warfare, Starcraft 2 video card and much more...]]]

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